Arabic Social Media Listening & Sentiment Analysis
Arabic Social Listening — Businesses need to be in tune with their customers and actively engaged with them to truly understand customer intent and behaviour. When the world has become a global village, it is common for people to engage on social media in their preferred language on common topics. Companies too, for this reason, need to be ready to have social media listening tools in place that can analyze the original text in which people express themselves through social posts, online reviews, and customer surveys. There are few areas of the globe where this is more true than in the Arabic-speaking world, especially in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We explain how you can leverage this lucrative market by using the right tools and approach.
There are over 300-million Arab-speaking people globally. Yet, understanding formal Arabic is challenging enough, and when you add over 30 Arabic dialects, intermingled with English, and sprinkled with colloquialisms, then you begin to understand one of social media listening’s greatest linguistic challenges. Understanding Arabic consumers requires a unique approach. It needs Arabic NLP with a special set of text mining and sentiment analysis tools that can overcome the barriers that are present in the analysis of Arabic language data.
What are Arabic Dialects?
There over 30 Arabic dialects derived from what is called Modern Standard Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic, or MSA for short, is the standard version of Arabic, often referred to as Classical Arabic, or the Arabic of the Quran. It is taught in schools and is usually used in formal writing and speech. Literature and poetry, especially earlier forms, are written in MSA. It is often found in business, books, newspapers, and other mass media, but not necessarily social media where dialects appear more frequently. Considered the official language of more than 20 countries, it is spoken by over 300-million people globally. Dialects are variations of MSA usually rooted in geo-regional dialogue patterns in conversational language. These vernacular or colloquial dialects often possess different grammars, vocabularies, semantics, and syntax.
Social Media Use in the Middle East: 10 Stats You Should Know!
One of the greatest errors made by marketers and researchers looking for brand insights is the belief that Arabic speakers do not use social media. The reality is that they are heavy users of social media. Here are 10 important statistics from 2019 on social media use in the Middle East and North Africa that quickly dispel that myth:
- Mobile social media penetration in the region has more than doubled to 44% in the past five years,
- 9 out of 10 young Arabs use at least one social media channel every day,
- Facebook now has 187 million active monthly users in the region.
- Egypt is the largest market for Facebook in MENA. It is home to 38 million daily users and 40 million monthly users.
- Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the fifth and sixth largest markets for Twitter in the world. More than 10 million users are active on the social network in Saudi Arabia.
- Up to 72% of Twitter users in KSA and UAE, and 62% of users in Egypt, consider Twitter one of their main sources for online video content.
- There are more than 63 million users of Instagram in the Middle East.
- Saudi Arabia is the fifth largest market for Snapchat in the world, with over 15.65 million users.
- WhatsApp is the most used Facebook-owned service, with 75% penetration.
- More than 60% of YouTube viewers in MENA are millennials. In Egypt, 77% of millennials watch YouTube every day.
Thus far we have shown the challenges posed to Arabic sentiment analysis by various dialects of the language. In addition, it is clearer now that the Middle East and North Africa provide a treasure of consumer and brand insights as expressed through social media. Next, we will look into how Repustate’s Arabic Text Analytics API provides companies and brands to fully leverage Arabic text data at their disposal if they look to grow market share in the area.
Should translations be used for Arabic sentiment analysis?
Arabic is a unique language and it differs from English in a number of ways: from sentence structure to words and phrases that may be used differently, using the same techniques and language models that work for English sentiment analysis when conducting Arabic sentiment analysis would yield terribly inaccurate results.
Arabic Sentiment Analysis API
Because of the challenges for applying high-level sentiment analysis for Arabic companies, Repustate has developed Arabic-specific tools to decipher words, industry jargon, and the feelings behind your customer’s words. Arabic sentiment analysis API includes an Arabic part of speech tagger, an Arabic lemmatizer, and of course, Arabic-specific sentiment models. The tool is also capable of identifying, extracting and applying sentiment analysis to dialects such as Egyptian, Levantine and Gulf.
What are the benefits of Repustate’s Arabic Sentiment Analytics Tool?
Here are the benefits of using our sentiment analyses tool:
- Understand your Arabic-speaking customers accurately and quickly.
- Identify and analyze the 3 largest and most popular Arabic dialects.
- Access to a Visual Command Centre for near-time analysis.
- Granular Arabic sentiment analysis by aspect.
- Flexible deployment On-Premise or through Cloud.
- Custom model that can be catered to your brand, domain and dialect.
- Multilingual Sentiment Analysis available to scale globally fast.